|Aphrodite (Ἀφροδίτη) / Venus
Greek / Roman pantheon
Goddess of love, beauty, passion, fertility
Also called Cytherea & Cypris
Sometimes considered the daughter of Zeus & Dione, sometimes born of seafoam. Wife of Hephaestos. She bore many children, but the most famous is Eros / Cupid.
In the earliest story of her birth, the titan Cronus castrated Uranus and threw his testicles into the ocean, and from the seafoam rising up from them Aphrodite was born, already a woman. Her beauty caused a lot of trouble among gods and mortals alike, because men all lusted over her and wanted to possess her. She was forced to marry the ugly and humorless Hephaestus, god of metalworkers, to keep everyone out of trouble. He considered himself to have gotten the good end of that deal, and in gratitude made her the cestus, a beautiful belt which unfortunately made her even more irresistible to men. Aphrodite herself was less pleased with the marriage and had many affairs, including with Ares and Adonis. In the Judgment of Paris, which started the Trojan War, she was named the most beautiful of women and awarded the golden apple. She is one of the most popular deities among modern Hellenists. Offerings include fruit, flowers, sweet incense & wine.
- scallop shell